As a mom of four, I’m no stranger to the question: “So, you’re done now . . . right?!”
It’s usually accompanied by an awkward laugh or a slightly raised eyebrow—as if there’s some sheepish punchline (or maybe another baby) I’m about to deliver.
It’s true, I suppose, that as half a dozen we qualify as a big family. Our house is usually noisy, always messy, and home to approximately 872 pairs of shoes, most of which are currently strewn about the front hall. We buy milk by the multiple gallons, hotel rooms always include the sleeper sofa option, and yes, I drive a minivan.
Our family is large and we have a lot of kids.
I get why that elicits some surprise in today’s 2.5-kids-and-a-dog world.
But the answer to that oft-asked “are you done” query we mothers of many get is actually very simple:
There will always be room for one more.
Maybe we’ve become accustomed to a certain level of chaos in our lives, where mornings are hectic and schedules are full and sleep comes at a premium. Maybe I really love seeing my husband cradle a newborn baby in his strong arms. Maybe we’re a tiny bit crazy, I don’t know.
But when it comes right down to it, each time we add a child to the mix, something beautiful happens to our hearts: they grow.
And we love all the precious souls God adds to our family.
There’s something unique each child adds to our family, something we wonder how we ever lived without before his or her arrival. And it’s not just us; you’ve certainly heard the sentiment echoed by fellow parents (or even by your own selves) once a new baby is born: We can’t remember what life was like without you.
You forget, somehow, the worry that once tumbled around in your heads that you weren’t sure how you’d do it, that there wouldn’t be enough room.
Because there simply always was—always is—enough.
Maybe that looks like another baby announcement one day. Maybe it takes the form of foster care or adoption. In a few years, it might look like sons- and daughters-in-law to love. Eventually, we’ll be thrilled if it looks like a gaggle of grandbabies to cherish.
But no matter what, whenever and however our family grows, there’s one thing for certain: there will always be room for one more.